Colibri Group Announces Leadership Expansion
Jeff James Appointed Chief Executive Officer Effective April 26, 2021
Mike Duran to Serve as Executive Chairman
ST. LOUIS, MO, MAY 4, 2021 – Colibri Group (“Colibri” or the “Company”), an education company with leading brands that provide learning solutions to licensed professionals, today announced that Jeff James has been appointed to Chief Executive Officer of Colibri, effective April 26, 2021. Mr. James will succeed Mike Duran, who will assume the role of Executive Chairman, advising the Company on its strategic direction and M&A strategy. Colibri Group is backed by Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron Capital”), a leading investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams.
As a 25-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”), Mr. James has a deep-rooted history of enhancing and creating superior products through consistent and differentiated customer experiences as well as driving unprecedented growth and profitability. His most recent role at Disney was as Vice President and General Manager of the Disney Institute, which helps professionals and organizations, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, learn how to leverage time-tested business practices used by Disney parks and resorts. Prior to his time at the Disney Institute, Mr. James served as Vice President and Managing Director for Disney Destinations International in London. He led the marketing, sales, public relations and finance efforts across the United Kingdom and Ireland for the portfolio of assets within Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Before that, Mr. James was the Vice President of Travel Industry Sales for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. In addition, Mr. James is a recognized keynote speaker and subject matter expert on Customer Experience Management. Mr. James holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.
“It has been a privilege to lead Colibri for more than a decade, and I am proud of what the team has achieved during my time at the Company,” said Mr. Duran. “Jeff is a truly unique executive who understands what it takes to evolve from a transactional model to an experiential, and recurring, one, and he intuitively gets the impact the latter has on customer lifetime value and brand sustainability. I know Colibri is in good hands under Jeff’s leadership.”
“I have long admired Colibri and I am excited to seize this incredible opportunity to take the professional learning experience to the next level as well as help our customers achieve more in their careers,” said Mr. James. “I also want to thank Mike for his time as Chief Executive Officer, and I am looking forward to working with him in his new capacity as Executive Chairman.”
“We are extremely grateful for Mike’s many contributions to Colibri and the success the Company has experienced under his leadership,” said Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner at Gridiron Capital. “Jeff brings to Colibri a strong history of leading and growing businesses, as well as passion for a superior customer experience. He is already focused on leveraging his expertise and accomplishments to work with the team to create market transforming products for licensed professionals nationwide, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Colibri team.”
“Colibri is poised to lead the next frontier of innovation in professional education by providing an unmatchable, engaging experience for its userbase,” said Will Hausberg, Managing Director at Gridiron Capital. “With Jeff leading Colibri going forward, we are confident the Company will continue to deliver on its potential.”
About Colibri Group
Colibri Group helps millions of professionals manage and advance their careers through online and in-person learning solutions for licensing, continuing education, and professional development. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Colibri Group supports licensed professionals to achieve more in their careers by offering engaging education along with industry and career-enhancing experiences in healthcare, real estate, and financial services, among other professions. Visit www.colibrigroup.com for more information.
About Gridiron Capital, LLC
Gridiron Capital is an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams and creating value by building middle-market companies into industry-leaders in branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial segments in the United States and Canada. We help transform growing companies by winning together through hard work, partnerships grounded in shared values, and a unique culture that comes from hands-on experience building and running businesses. As a team led by former operators and entrepreneurs, we know what it takes to run successful businesses on a day-to-day basis. Additional information is available on the firm’s website: www.gridironcapital.com.
For Additional Information:
For Colibri Group:
For Gridiron Capital, LLC:
Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner